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Promotion thwarted because of HIV Infection
Mar 4, 1999

I work for a fortune 500 company and I feel I have been denied a promotion due to my HIV status. My boss is already homophobic, many coworkers have gasped at the way he talks to me and treats me. I have brought this up Human resources who "cited" him for unprofessional behavior. I was next in line (due to tenure and experience) for a promotion and was passed up. My boss and some of my coworkers are aware of my HIV status. My boss stated that I was not promoted because of my attendance over the last year. I have never used more days than have been alotted to me, can I do anything about it?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Documentation: Do you have anything in writing? Could you convince an EEOC attorney, for example, that your rights are being violated because of your HIV status? If your case is "he says/I say," then you'll have a harder time. In any case, please contact a local AIDS service organization to ask for a referral to an AIDS-knowledgeable attorney. Such attorneys often work for no fee when it's in connection with an AIDS service organization. Or call the American Bar Association's AIDS Coordination Project in Washington, DC to ask for the name of an HIV-knowledgeable attorney in your area. They're at 202.662.1025. If you can document your statements, you could have a case. Sometimes the problem gets resolved quickly when senior management receives a letter on a law firm's letterhead reminding them of their duty not to discriminate under the ADA.

Nancy Breuer


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